Police have arrested and charged a veteran firefighter with 11 counts of malicious killing of a domestic animal after he used rat poison to kill 11 chickens living in a coop behind a neighbor's house. According to an Aug. 5 report from The Lowell Sun, 66-year-old Frank Sargent started poisoning the chickens in April of this year and police were notified after residents noticed what appeared to be poison mixed in with their chicken feed.
Initially, the 17-year veteran of the Carlisle Fire Department in Mass. denied any involvement in the crime. However, when police presented overwhelming video and photographic showing him spraying the chicken coop with a can of wasp and hornet-killer spray, he changed his tune.
"I couldn't sleep. I couldn't take it anymore," Sargent admitted to police. "I did what you said: I mixed mouse poison with bird seed and... brought it over in a bucket and just threw it in the chicken coop."
Police set up a surveillance camera and were able to capture Sargent's criminal actions on film. Police say they recorded the firefighter entering the yard and poisoning the chickens on several occasions.
"I know it sounds crazy, but I got to the point where I thought the bird was mocking me. So I sprayed it with hornet spray just to make it stop," Sargent was quoted saying in the police report.
Sargent was arraigned on the charges late last month and placed on administrative leave "pending the resolution of his personal issue," Fire Chief David Flannery said. He was also ordered by the judge to have no further contact with his neighbors.